Frontliners in Ruto’s Search for Mt Kenya Runningmate

Agriculture CS Peter Munya (left) and DP William Ruto in 2019.
  • One of the demands Mt Kenya MPs gave Deputy President William Ruto is that he should reserve the running mate position for a person who hails from the region. 

    Sources aware of the details of the meeting between Ruto and the MPs intimated to that the legislators have started jostling for the position. 

    “Some of the front runners include former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria,†the source intimated, adding that a fierce fight is likely to erupt between Kiunjuri and Gachagua.

    Agriculture CS Peter Munya (left) and DP William Ruto in 2019.

    Though Kiunjuri was absent from the meeting held at Rigathi’s Karen residence because he is not an elected leader, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua vouched for him citing his years of experience in the government. 

    “Our position remains the same, Kiunjuri is our man to deputise Ruto and he has our blessings to reach out to other regions for support,†said Kinyua.

    The former Agriculture CS also has the resources to finance a campaign and was at one time the wealthiest member of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet before he was sacked.

    Political analyst Martin Andati however thinks that Kiunjuri’s political outfit, The Service Party may become a hindrance unless the DP agrees to form a coalition of parties. 

    “Kiunjuri is also regarded as an outsider because the perception is that Laikipia is in Rift Valley,†he added. 

    Gachagua has also been touted as a potential running mate given his ability to mobilise which he gained while serving in the provincial administration. 

    His understanding of government operations, coupled with financial muscle, can be useful in the DP’s mission to win over Central Kenya.

    Andati, however, argues that the politician is a first time MP who may find it hard to endear himself to the rest of the country. 

    Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria is a good crowd puller, an aggressive politician and is popular in not just the mountain region but the whole country. 

    Kuria’s first test is expected to come in the form of a by-election in Juja Constituency where his candidate George Koimburi will be battling Jubilee’s Susan Waititu.

    According to Andati, President Kenyatta’s reluctance to exit the political scene could shadow or curtail Kuria’s influence given that they come from the same constituency. 

    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua
    Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua

    Political analyst Mark Bichache on his part says that it will not be a surprise if Ruto snubs the Mt Kenya leaders while picking his running mate. 

    “The problem is that the leaders already seem sold to his hustler nation. You cannot negotiate a prenuptial agreement after you get married,†he said. 

    Deputy President William Ruto and Gaturi Ward MCA Esther Mwihaki on January 6, 2020
    Deputy President William Ruto and Gaturi Ward MCA Esther Mwihaki on January 6, 2021

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